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discontinued product

GPSMAP® 296

Part Number: 010-00356-00

Updates & Downloads


GPSMAP 296 software version 6.10 as of May 6, 2013

» Download

» View installation instructions and system requirements

WARNING: If you are updating from a previous software version, this software may clear user memory.
Please back up important data (routes, tracks, and waypoints) to MapSource prior to updating.

Change History


Changes made from version 6.00 to 6.10:
  • Support for new 010-10517-02 battery pack

Changes made from version 5.90 to 6.00:
  • Update to display NAV database greater in size than 2MB (issue identified in cycle 1102)

Changes made from version 5.80 to 5.90:
  • Improved GPS satellite acquisition processing
  • Updated magnetic variation table with IGRF 2010 model

Changes made from version 5.70 to 5.80:
  • Added support for large NAND datacards

Changes made from version 5.60 to 5.70:
  • Support expanded terrain data coverage
  • Improved power-up processing

Changes made from version 5.50 to 5.60:
  • Displayed facility name and city data on Go To page

Changes made from version 5.40 to 5.50:
  • Improved airport runway length display
  • Improved battery gauge accuracy

Changes made from version 5.30 to 5.40:
  • Improved terrain alerting over oceanic areas
  • Improved compatibility with 512MB data card
  • Improved unit behavior when a blank data card is inserted
  • Improved route leg transition when traveling at high speed
  • Improved display of battery charge level

Changes made from version 5.20 to 5.30:
  • Corrected address search operation with MPC maps.
  • Corrected user waypoint delete operation on the 'Go To'

Changes made from version 5.10 to 5.20:
  • Improved GPS satellite acquisition under certain conditions.
  • Improved operation of flight log when a heliport is near the departure or destination airport and the aircraft type is not set to Helicopter.
  • Improved ability to highlight certain areas of Class B airspace when a Mode C veil overlaps.
  • Improved remote frequency list sent to the SL-30/SL-40.
  • Added support for City Navigator update DVD.

Changes made from version 5.00 to 5.10:
  • Improved map processing to allow highlighting TMA and Class B airspace together.
  • Corrected external voltage alarm persistent behavior between power cycles.
  • Corrected state and country information for city searches.
  • Corrected problem deleting a user waypoint on the 'Go To' page.

Changes made from version 4.90 to 5.00:
  • Improved NMEA output.
  • Daylight saving changes for United States.
  • Added Mexican time zones.

Changes made from version 4.80 to 4.90:
  • Corrected 'persist' setting for external voltage alarm.
  • Improved ability to move user waypoints while editing a route.

Changes made from version 4.70 to 4.80:
  • Corrected issue with scaling of speed indicator on panel page.
  • Improved operation when moving user waypoints with the map cursor.
  • Corrected issue with changing usage mode from the Setup tab of the main menu.

Changes made from version 4.60 to 4.70:
  • Corrected issue that could cause 'WorldMap' series maps from being displayed.
  • Increased the number of characters allowed to display map zoom status.
  • Corrected text translations.
  • Clear trip data to correct issue with previously stored data.
  • Added Czech voice support.

Changes made from version 4.50 to 4.60:
  • Corrected display of communication frequency displayed on Airport and Nearest pages for airports that have multiple Unicom or Multicom frequencies.
  • Corrected issue in previous software revision that could cause some unit settings to be restored to defaults.
  • Corrected issue in previous software revision that could prevent the time zone from being changed.
  • Corrected issue that could cause the odometer field value to become inaccurate.
  • Corrected occasional unit shutdown during powerup.
  • Improved Aviation In communication format by preventing duplicate waypoints from being added to the route when the remote unit is navigating a procedure turn.
  • Improved address search when using postal codes.

Changes made from version 4.40 to 4.50:
  • Corrected issue that could cause flights to be recorded while driving on land when the unit is in aviation mode.
  • Improved alerting for airspace with upper or lower bounds specified as AGL.

Changes made from version 4.30 to 4.40:
  • Corrected selection of duplicate aviation identifiers.

Changes made from version 4.20 to 4.30:
  • Improved airport tower frequency display processing for airports with more than one tower frequency available.

Changes made from version 4.10 to 4.20:
  • Improved terrain alerting when navigating a route using the Aviation In serial data protocol.
  • Fixed SBAS compatibility issues with the Japanese MSAS system.

Changes made from version 4.00 to 4.10:
  • Improved aviation route transfers to and from Mapsource.
  • Improved display of lake depth contours in Marine mode.
  • Improved TracBack when using the entire track.
  • Improved GPS reception.

Changes made from version 3.70 to 4.00:
  • Added Iceland time zone.
  • Added support for latest Garmin map technology.
  • Added separate options on map setup page for private airports and heliports.
  • Added support for tuning SL30/40 comm radios through 'Aviation In/NMEA & VHF Out' serial interface format.
  • Added ability to quickly select entire track for use with TracBack.
  • Modified Aviation In serial data format to work with avionics that do not output linefeed characters.
  • Improved calculation of ETE on active route page.
  • Improved appearance of Class D and Alert Area airspace types.
  • Improved appearance of map in aviation mode when terrain shading is turned off.
  • Improved voice guidance for road routes.
  • Improved display of private airports.
  • Improved frequency display on Airport review page for airports that have only one comm frequency.
  • Improved Compass page in Automotive mode.
  • Improved Sonar page.
  • Improved Find menu.
  • Improved map selection when changing usage modes.
  • Corrected issue that could prevent some message log filter settings from being saved.
  • Corrected issue that could cause unit to shut down when using the Highway page.
  • Corrected issue with waypoint timestamp updates when transferring from Mapsource.
  • Corrected display of 'L' symbol in Turn data field.
  • Corrected display of 'Route Truncated' and similar messages when using USB.
  • Corrected problems with Aviation In serial data format.
  • Corrected display of cardinal direction on map page when measuring distance.
  • Corrected duplicate waypoint creation with GPWPL NMEA sentence input.
  • Corrected hilight movement problem on proximity waypoint page.
  • Corrected invalid display of Next Turn data field.
  • Corrected lockup that could occur after updating terrain or obstacle databases.
  • Updated text translations.

Changes made from version 3.60 to 3.70:
  • Corrected issues with address search.
  • Corrected issue with incorrect battery timer display.

Changes made from version 3.50 to 3.60:
  • Added display of estimated time to VNAV profile on VNAV setup page.
  • Added display of terrain and obstacle database cycle numbers.
  • Added output of NMEA APB sentence.
  • Corrected issue with restoring defaults on Com setup pages.
  • Corrected issue that could cause 'lock to road' setting in Automotive mode to be reset.
  • Corrected issue that could cause unit to power off when editing information on the Welcome setup page.

Changes made from version 3.40 to 3.50:
  • Added City tab to Aviation mode Nearest pages.
  • Improved functionality of Aviation In serial data format.
  • Improved terrain alerts when landing at private airports marked with user waypoints.

Changes made from version 3.30 to 3.40:
  • Removed possibility of accidentally enabling 'Lock To Roads' when not in Automotive mode.
  • Added configurable field for UTC Time.
  • Improved Low Battery warning message.
  • Fixed nav alarms (next turn, arrival, off course, and anchor drag).
  • Reduced frequency of nuisance terrain alerts.
  • Added VNAV indicators to map page when in 'Map With Overlay' page layout.
  • Corrected problem that would reset fuel flow planning value on active route page.
  • Improved visibility of distance and bearing fields on nearest FSS and ARTCC pages.

Changes made from version 3.20 to 3.30:
  • Added support for ADIZ airspace.
  • Added ability to highlight and review multiple overlapping airspaces with the map cursor.
  • Added warning message at powerup if terrain or obstacle data is missing.
  • Added audible warning for terrain and obstacle alerts.
  • Added display of estimated time to fly to map cursor when panning on the map page in Aviation mode.
  • Added support for German tide stations.
  • Added support for more time zones.
  • Added support for NMEA BWC and extended DSC (DSE) sentences.
  • Added support for LakeMaster maps.
  • Added ability to select a particular map family when performing an address search.
  • Added ability to stop navigation from the Current Route page when in Automotive mode.
  • Changed calculation of ETE and ETA in Aviation mode to match that used by Garmin panel-mount avionics.
  • Improved automatic zoom behavior of terrain popup map.
  • Improved supression of nuisance terrian and obstacle alerts.
  • Improved visibility of runways on the map.
  • Improved accuracy of track log generation.
  • Improved readability of owner information text during powerup.
  • Improved USB transfers from MapSource.
  • Increased resolution of distance fields when in Marine mode.
  • Corrected behavior of vertical navigation when VNAV target is beyond the selected waypoint.
  • Corrected behavior of VNAV setup page.
  • Corrected shutdown that could occur when performing a TracBack in Automotive mode.
  • Corrected shutdown that could occur on the Line tab of the Map Setup page.
  • Corrected default Nearest Type selection on Position page.
  • Corrected display of map outlines.
  • Corrected functioning of Off-Course alarm.
  • Corrected date display on Celestial pages.
  • Improved display of street addresses in Find menu.
  • Corrected problem that could cause Highway page to appear in Aviation mode.

Changes made from version 3.10 to 3.20:
  • Fixed string corruption on the VNAV Setup page.
  • Fixed GPS unit to GPS unit transfer of user data.
  • Fixed handling of display options menu on the volume/backlight page.
  • Fixed display of runway extensions at declutter level of 'clear -3'.
  • Fixed waypoint category highlight error when dealing with a large category list.
  • Fixed 'Searching' text being displayed without results when performing a 'find'.
  • Added 'Show on Map' option to menu of the Tide review page.
  • Added Sonar tab page to the Main Menu in Marine mode.
  • Improved readability of scroll bar arrows in Night mode.
  • Darkened Automotive mode Metro Area colors in Night mode.
  • Enabled support for website updates of obstacle and terrain databases.
  • Restored Find menu functionality when projecting a waypoint position.
  • When projecting a waypoint, the navigation context is now consistent.
  • Restored ability to download almanac data.

Changes made from version 3.00 to 3.10:
  • Fixed problem that could cause the unit to turn off when the map heading line is enabled.
  • Fixed problem that would prevent changing the CDI scale using the zoom in/out keys in Marine mode.
  • Improved readability of map label text in Automotive mode.
  • Fixed the Sun & Moon page to update the date and time when using the 'Play' and 'Fast Forward' buttons.
  • Corrected 'find' operation behavior when a diacritic character is highligted.
  • Changed to use 24x24 custom waypoint symbol in connection with xImage.
  • Fixed functionality of projecting a waypoint by using the find menu.
  • Fixed bug that caused the Panel page to appear in non-aviation modes.
  • Vertical speed is no longer displayed in a configurable data field unless the unit has a 3D GPS fix.
  • Fixed rare problem that could cause incorrect guidance when navigating a route containing an approach.
  • Fixed display of night flight duration on Flights main menu tab when the time display is set to hours and minutes.

Changes made from version 2.60 to 3.00:
  • Added support for remote sonar.
  • Added Marine DSC support.
  • Added new distance and speed unit, nautical (nm, kt, m).
  • Added Custom Avoids and Custom Road preferences to Road Routing setup.
  • Added calendar pages (day, week, and month) to the main menu.
  • Added column titles to the Add/Edit Vias page.
  • Added option to Point Review pages to 'add to current route' when navigating an auto-route.
  • Added carpool lanes to avoid options in Road Routing setup.
  • Added auto backlight adjustment based on sunrise and sunset.
  • Added voice prompt option to sound setup; now provides ability to limit or prevent voice prompts.
  • Added output rate configuration to the Advanced NMEA setup page.
  • Added support for non-U.S. time zones.
  • Added GPS status to the list of configurable data fields.
  • Added support for selecting active track color.
  • Added choice to Routes Setup to transition waypoints by distance when navigating a manual route.
  • Added options to Volume/Light control page to go to Sound or Display setup menus.
  • Increased number of proximity waypoints to 100.
  • Changed Data Card Information page into Map Information page to include version information for all map data (basemap and aviation databases).
  • Fixed 'hide/show all' options on the Map Information page.
  • Fixed Lock to Road option so unit remembers user's changes to it.
  • Popup text on the map page is positioned to avoid appearing under the cursor.
  • Fixed problem preventing user from editing the elevation of user waypoints.
  • Added ability to move waypoints in active manual routes.
  • Enabled Odometer as a configurable field in Marine mode.
  • Fixed address searches so number field will show all valid characters.
  • Fixed issue with Map setup that prevented the user for changing the Marinenavaid symbol set.
  • Added support for auto CDI scale setting.
  • Modified Route list page to indicates an active route with an icon to the left of the route name.
  • Fixed highlight movement bug on proximity waypoints page.
  • Fixed shutdown when clearing active track log.
  • Fixed TracBack operation for large tracks.
  • Added marine timer as a page layout for the Compass page.
  • Fixed functionality of deleting waypoints by category.
  • Added blank configuration field for 'map with overlay' layout.
  • Fixed issue with Indonesian Southern grid being located in the wrong area.
  • Updated language translations.
  • Fixed issue with displaying BlueChart data without water color.
  • Fixed shutdown when attempting to view the map families via the Data Card Information page.
  • Corrected problem with on route gotos.
  • Fixed problem with autoroute icon not showing up for all saved autoroutes.
  • Corrected problem with routes transferred from MapSource that show improper Distance and ETE values.
  • Fixed problem on the Active Route page that prevented the 'change data fields' option from working properly.
  • Corrected the way the date is displayed on the Calendar page to be consistent with other pages.
  • Fixed problem with display of the Find menu from the Month tab of the calendar.
  • Fixed problem with TracBacks on large saved tracks.
  • Improved backlight auto-adjustment feature; this feature is now turned off by default.
  • Added standard European and Australian time zones.
  • Fixed Daylight Savings to work correctly in the Southern hemisphere.
  • Fixed shutdowns while driving in Automotive mode without a route active.
  • Fixed problem with entering dates on the Sun and Moon page.
  • Fixed the 'point review page' option 'append to route' to correctly add the point to the end of the selected route.
  • Fixed problem with Edit Via page displaying the pointer improperly.
  • Fixed shutdown when attempting to view the Log Filter tab on the main menu Message Tab.
  • Fixed problem with Calendar Day page not always displaying the items.
  • Simplified fuel timer control on the timer setup tab page.
  • Added range tick marks to heading line.
  • Changed metro area color to improve visibility.
  • Added cardinal direction indicator to Position page's 'nearest point' display.
  • Fixed unwanted characters that could appear in waypoint comment when saving a waypoint from an address.
  • Fixed possible display problems on the Saved Tracks page.
  • Fixed possible date display problems on Tide page.
  • Improved 'Proximity Alarm Memory is Full' message to appear everytime when trying to upload proximity waypoints to the unit once maximum limit has reached.
  • Fixed shutdown caused by trying to review map features from the 'Show Map' page.
  • Fixed Sun & Moon page to update the date and time display values when using the 'Use Current Date' option.
  • Turned on depth recording in the active track log and saved tracks.
  • Fixed problem with flight transfers to Garmin FlightBook software.
  • Fixed problem with units displayed on the Runway tab.
  • Fixed transfer of aviation routes, so aviation points are used when transferred back to the unit.
  • Enabled political boarders on TAWS maps.
  • Added ability to use Kgs or lbs on the Weight and Balance page.
  • Added drawing of obstacles on the Main Map page.
  • Added option to remove points from the Aviation GoTo page's recent list.
  • Added ability for user to chose between displaying the numerical degrees or a directional arrow for bearing on the Aviation Nearest pages.
  • Improved the Runway Review page to indicate the airport traffic pattern direction. Must use Jeppesen database cycle number 0407 or newer.
  • Improvements made on the Flights List page.
  • Improved error checking on the aircraft page to prevent duplicate aircraft entries.
  • Fixed handling of small coarse changes when in aviation mode.
  • Added ability to set 'new location' by identifier when in aviation mode.
  • Improved handling of deleted Jeppesen data points.

Changes made from version 2.50 to 2.60:
  • Fixed problem with display of hyphen when using German.
  • Fixed problem with MapSource data transfer where unit would not accept maps and waypoints at the same time.
  • Fixed problem occurring in German, French, Spanish, Polish, and Portuguese. If the GPSMAP 296 was set to one of these languages listed and the customer attempted to reset the max speed within the trip computer, the GPSMAP 296 would lock up.
  • Corrected problem when transitioning from the charging screen and attached to external power.
  • Improved handling and display of routes created on the PC and transferred to the unit.
  • Corrected problem on celestial pages which could cause the unit to shut down during cursor movement.
  • Unit no longer attempts to convert a TracBack route to a road route when switching from marine mode to automotive mode.
  • Fixed problem with handling NMEA input data that caused blinking of the Map page and shutdown on route transfers.
  • Corrected handling of approaches.
  • Fixed problem where hourglass pointer stays on all the time when panned.
  • Made display of chosen aircraft symbol consistent on all maps.
  • Corrected drawing of the VBAR on the Panel page.

Changes made from version 2.40 to 2.50:
  • Corrected problem which allowed selection of some non-aviation points from the GoTo page.
  • Fixed aviation duplicates list.
  • Increased maximum number of maps displayed.
  • Removed delay which sometimes occured when changing interface formats.
  • Fixed problem that may have occurred when swapping cards during a simulated route.
  • Fixed problem that occurred when using elevation field in the overlay map view in automotive mode.
  • Added alert message to indicate when the user timer has expired.

Changes made from version 2.30 to 2.40:
  • Corrected problem that caused certain alarms to work only during active navigation.
  • Corrected problem with the exteral alarm pin.
  • Improved Find functionality.
  • Improved route line drawing.
  • Route waypoint transition settings can now be different for Marine and Automotive modes.
  • Added the ability to perform manual route waypoint transition on the Active Route page via the menu or zoom in/out keys.
  • Changed approaching waypoint alarm message to show the next course, if available
  • Corrected problem that could cause incorrect course guidance after navigating an on-route goto.
  • Improved estimate of remaining battery runtime.
  • Corrected map drawing problem in Aviation mode with track-up display.

Installation Instructions

  1. Download the appropriate self-extracting archive file for your GPSMAP296 onto your hard drive.
  2. Connect your GPSMAP296 to a free USB or serial port on your PC with the correct PC interface cable.
  3. Turn on your GPSMAP296. If you are using USB, ensure it shows USB as connected when the cable is plugged in. If you are using serial, ensure the Serial Data Format is set to 'Garmin Data Transfer' for the port you are using. You can find this setting on the 'Com 1' or 'Com 2' tab of the 'Setup' section of the Main Menu.
  4. Open the self-extracting archive file and follow the instructions provided by the update application. During the upload, the GPSMAP296's display will indicate 'Software Loading....' The upload process should take 1-10 minutes to complete, depending on interface used for update. When the upload is completed, the GPSMAP296 will reset itself and turn on normally.

System requirements:

  1. IBM-compatible PC running Windows XP or later operating system.
  2. PC Interface Cable for your GPS unit. The PC Interface Cable may be purchased through your local Garmin distributor or ordered direct from our Online Store.